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Will IOI’s Project 007 allow us to create our own custom bond?



Pay attention, 007

I’ve always been a big fan of the exploits of the world’s most famous secret agent – James Bond. I have many happy childhood memories of eagerly devouring MGM’s movie pantheon, being captivated by vehicles, locations, gadgets, music and completely ridiculous villains who have been featured throughout the iconic movie franchise.

As the years have passed and my critical eye has blossomed, I have, of course, come more into the fact that Bond films should generally be seen in the “Bond filter”. That is, many of these movies do not keep up with other spy movies or just other films. The truth is told, only a couple of 007 fairy tales are really excellent film, (Sincerely, from Russia), while some are downright awful, (Diamonds are forever). But regardless, they are (mostly) all my heart loving. I have a long lasting love affair with the world 007 …

… Oh, but I do not like it James Bond Jr. You have to draw the line somewhere.

And then, understandably, I was both shaken and touched when a new 007 game was suddenly announced out of nowhere. What̵

7;s more, in one of the most perfect marriages in video game history, it was revealed that the new title will be developed by the Danish studio IO Interactive, whose example of stealth gameplay, sumptuous locations and nerve-wracking excitement has reached almost perfection in the excellent Hitman franchise. In the wake of horrific releases like 2012 007 Legendsand 2010 is not so bad 007: Blood Stone, it feels like IOI could be ready to deliver the best Bond gaming experience fans have received in decades … maybe ever?

As this message is only days old, the IOI has not yet revealed the details of Project 007. All we know is that it will be a story of origin – and a completely original story thereby, thus avoiding the events of Ian Fleming’s novel, Casino Royale. According to the IOI, Project 007 will see the player “earn (their) 007 status in a completely original story” without details on whether the game will play a recognizable Bond actor, or have an original avatar that captures the style and essence of the charming and debonair state -sponsored killer.

This made me think (always a risky task) how would IOI create an original James Bond that players would feel instantly attached to? Which led me to a perception: What if we was allowed to create 007 yourself? A 007 in anyone picture we choose? Assuming the character occupies an environment recognizable to the Bond universe – all laser clocks, casinos, and secret plans for world domination – why not let a 007 of our own creation exist within it? Think Mass Effect’s Commander Shepherd, but with fewer bulls and more Shirley Bassey.

While certain behavioral traits, physical abilities, and personality traits must remain for the sake of authenticity, Project 007 could potentially offer players the chance to experiment with Bond, making them whatever gender, age, sexuality or ethnicity they want. While many meandering cinemas are unfortunately still strongly opposed to seeing Bond portrayed by anyone other than a middle-aged white guy, Project 007 – with its original story and seemingly zero ties to the cinematic franchise – provides a chance to explore far beyond this militant mindset of what James Bond “should” be.

Now it must be made clear that fans often when new games are announced, instantly get their fantasy reservation on, often put pressure on developers and risk a false narrative of what an upcoming release both are and is not. My intention is not to forehead beat IOI that it MUST make Project 007s protagonist can be customized, but only to suggest that this would be an ideal opportunity to do so. Daniel Craig is leaving the role after the 2021s No time to die, and a new actor who has not yet been cast, the door is open for Project 007 to experiment with the Bond universe of your choice. The timing is perfect.

Personally, I would skip the opportunity to play a new Bond adventure as a female 007. Assuming we get the recognizable series of tropes – espionage, cool fashion, exotic locations, a hello from Felix Leiter, maybe a little megalomania – I’m not far off precious to play Bond in the exact same physical disguise that we’ve seen him in over and over again since the 1960s.

In view of the IOI pedigree, Project 007 seems tilted for greatness. Self-developed and self-published, the studio is mostly free from outside interference – except for Bond producers EON, who will hopefully trust IOI’s instincts and leave the developer alone. Given the “shiny slate” of the exciting new venture, Project 007 provides the perfect opportunity to take Bond out of his (or her) comfort zone and offer fans the opportunity to take 007 beyond any world they have seen before.

Why not take a chance? After all, you only live twice.

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